Category Archives: potatoes

Bacon and Mushroom Souffle Pie: 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes Challenge

This part of my 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes Challenge, where I’m aiming to cook every recipe from The 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes by Carolyn Humphries. It’s an amazing book… but there are no pictures!


Bacon and Mushroom Souffle Pie | 450 calories per serving | Serves 2


The original recipe given in the book is to serve 4, but as a souffle won’t freeze I had to trim it in half (not easy splitting 3 eggs into 2!). It did seem to work though and these are the ingredients I used.

  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed (they both fit in my open hand, as an idea of size)
  • 25g low fat spread
  • 4 lean bacon medallions, diced
  • 50g button mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 10g plain flour
  • 75ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 15g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, separated – with egg whites whipped to stiff peaks

How to Make Bacon and Mushroom Souffle Pie

  1. Boil the potatoes, whole, until cooked through. Leave to cool and then slice them. Line a medium-sized oven proof dish with the potatoes and set aside (the one I used, pictured, could have done with being a bit bigger!)
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 Celsius.
  3. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.
  4. Melt the low fat spread and gently cook the mushrooms and bacon pieces.
  5. Add the thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the plain flour and stir through.
  7. Add the milk and mix till it becomes a thick, incorporated sauce.
  8. Quickly beat in the egg yolks and cheese.
  9. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites.
  10. Spoon the souffle mix over the potatoes.
  11. Put the souffle pie into the middle of the preheated oven and cook for around 25 minutes.

The Verdict

Flavour: 5
(1= flavourless, 5= delicious)

Satisfaction: 5 – great comfort food
(1= unsatisfying, 5= satisfying considering low cal!)

Ease of Preparation: 1 – took a long time, very fiddly
(1= difficult, 5= easy)

Aftermath Factor: 1 – bowls, pots, pans, jugs… the list goes on
(1= tons of washing up, 5= one pot wonder)

I’d never cooked a souffle before so was not sure entirely what to expect. As I was weighing out the ingredients for this, it felt meagre and the directions only said to use a “large ovenproof dish”. I kept looking at the ingredients and at the dish I’d selected. I was beginning to relish dread the thought of having to nip to the pub for their Tuesday Pint & Pie.

Unfortunately, it turned out well and had great flavour. The souffle acted a bit like a sauce and the whole dish had a scrummy, comfort-food feeling to it. I’ll definitely be cooking this again – though probably more in the winter months!

The downside is that this one took a lot of weighing and used a lot of bowls, so definitely not one to turn out in a hurry or if you hate lots of washing up.

I hate showing photographs with frozen veg on my blog – it feels like someone seeing your underwear drying on the washing line. It’s a bit embarrassing, you worry it looks bad, but you know everyone has to do it. So if you could overlook that, I’d be very pleased.

I’m also feeling self conscious about my souffle (a sentence I never thought I’d say). Too wobbly? Too brown? What do you think? Any tips?


This part of my 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes Challenge <- click the link if you want to find out what it’s all about and see the recipes I’ve already tried. Please note that I tinker with recipe ingredients and meander from the method – the recipe above will deviate slightly from the original book and the method is just the way I happened to cook it this time!

Stuffed Peppers with Potato, Leek and Mushroom Gratin

Tonight’s dinner was improvised from various leftovers, which might make it harder to follow this post than usual as it’s a little stream-of-consciousness.

Stage One: dinner started this morning when I was sorting out the leftover rogan josh from last night. As usual, there was sauce aplenty for another dinner but most of the meat had been eaten. To bulk it up, I peeled and cubed some sweet potato, zapped it in the microwave (so it can be easily heated at a later date) and stirred it into the curry before bunging it in the freezer. This, however, left me with half a sweet potato as it was a big’un!

Stage Two: later in the afternoon with half a sweet potato, some small salad-type potatoes and a leek I layered up a gratin (sweet potato, white potato, leek). Realising I had no idea what to do next, I googled for a gratin recipe. It called for cream…. hmmm… no cream. Then I remembered I had some homemade mushroom soup in the freezer, which was mainly a cream mushroom puree really, so I defrosted that, added it, and topped up the gratin with milk.

Stage Three: realising that a gratin alone isn’t very balanced, I used two big red peppers I’d bought with the intention of roasting at some point, and filled them with vine cherry tomatoes. Hmmm, not great. Emptied out the cherry tomatoes. Hmmm… what could I stuff it with? I remembered some leftover frozen bolognese sauce we had in the freezer which I stabbed, slotted frozen into the peppers and then put three cherry tomatoes on top and gave a grating of parmiggiano reggiano.

Gratin and peppers went in at the same time, for about 45-60 minutes.

Dinner turned out to be much better than anticipated. The sweet potatoes, of course, cooked faster than the white potatoes which gave a lovely variation in texture. The leek was crisp, and the mushroom soup made the whole thing sing. Unfortunately, the mushroom soup isn’t the easiest thing to whizz up just for a gratin BUT I have decided that blending some mushrooms, cream and garlic together will give much the same effect. So that I shall do next time. Somewhat unconvinced about sweet and normal potatoes together in a gratin, but I think a sweet potato and red onion gratin-esque concoction (maybe with yoghurt?) would be the next to try.

Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pots with Hedgehog Potatoes

So far this week we’ve eaten very healthily (and keeping our resolution to eat fish at least once a week), but today we were both in need of some comfort food. I tried to think of something that felt like a real treat, but was still not that naughty. TLM got me a set of ramekins for Christmas and instructed me on Christmas day that he wanted food that was made in them (!) Quite the brief for this evening’s late late late late meal (TLM at surgery till late then at revision).

I chopped up two big flat mushrooms, half an onion and two lean bacon rashers (just the top oval bits) and fried them with thyme, salt and pepper. Once softened, I put about a tablespoon of double cream and stirred in to the released mushroomy juices. I immediately decanted the creamy mushrooms/ bacon/ onions into the ramekins and placed two more large flat mushrooms on the top to fit as a lid. I then grated a little cheese on the top. A blast under the grill and they were done.

The ‘hedgehog’ potatoes are really Ms. Lawson’s hasselback potatoes, but TLM re-names most of our food. They are made from baby potatoes (new or Charlotte) which you sit in a big-ish spoon and then slit by pushing your knife down onto the potato – the spoon stops you slicing all the way through the potato. You then put a little oil on them and bung them in at 200 celsius for an hour and a half. They’re easy to prepare as you don’t have to peel them and they’re difficult to burn (but I did manage once).

Scrummy – one of our new favourite suppers.